بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
Subḥān Allāh, what a year it has been with LQA-102! This class has collectively overcome many challenges and obstacles in their journey through the Arabic language and I am very proud of them. The class began with the Fall Quarter in September 2019 and finished with the Summer Quarter in August 2020. The students will begin LQA-103 in September 2020, in shāʾ Allāh.
The class began with a group of students of all different backgrounds in Arabic. Some came directly from LQA-101 at IOK; some had learned Arabic here and there in the past, taken a break, and then decided to restart their journey; some were familiar with the Arabic language from living abroad in an Arabic-speaking country. Having a class full of students of varying levels of exposure and skill with the Arabic language was a challenge in and of itself. But alḥamdulillāh, after spending the Fall Quarter getting everyone on the same page, we were able to move forward collectively as a class.
The class started with Volume 1 of Lisān al-Qurʾān by the teachers at Madrasah ʿĀʾishah Siddīqah Karachi, and after we completed that text we went through and completed Fundamentals of Classical Arabic by Shaykh Husain Abdul-Sattar. When we began Qaṣaṣ al-Nabiyyīn by Shaykh Abu al-Ḥasan ʿAlī al-Ḥaṣanī al-Nadwī, the pandemic hit the US and all classes had to move online. This was a sure struggle for any teacher and student, but especially teachers and students of a foreign language. But alḥamdulillāh after a relatively short adjustment period we were back to having a routine, albeit a new one, for our class. In the midst of the pandemic, we began a class project on translating Sūrah al-Fatḥ which you have before you today.
The rules for this class project were simple — the only sources the class was allowed to use for translating this chapter of the Qurʾān was a dictionary, their knowledge of the Arabic language, and the Arabic tafsīr text we were using in class. They were strictly prohibited from consulting an existing translation or from seeking help from anyone other than myself. Not only were the students expected to prepare a well-written, nicely-flowing translation, but they were also expected to come to class prepared to answer questions about the grammar, morphology, and vocabulary of the verses they were assigned. Along with this already difficult and time-consuming project, the class also began reading an all-Arabic explanation/tafsīr of Sūrah al-Fatḥ from Ṣafwah al-Tafāsīr by Shaykh Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Ṣābūnī. The students’ skills and abilities in the Arabic language has grown so much since the beginning of this academic year, mā shāʾ Allāh tabārak Allāh, and I am excited to see them grow in the years to come, in shāʾ Allāh. May Allāh continue to bless the students, their families, and all of us! May He increase us in beneficial knowledge that brings us closer to Him. Āmīn.
Los Angeles, CA
Dhū al-Ḥijjah 1441/August 2020
Translators: Romana Ashfaq, Khalida Baig, Hina Bhakhrani, Zaid Dadabhoy, Yasmeen Haq, Michelle Nashef
In the Name of God, The Most Merciful, The Very Merciful —
Prophet, We have certainly given you a clear victory1 so that God may forgive your past and future sins, complete His blessing upon you, guide you to a straight path2, and help you powerfully.3 It is He who sends down tranquility into the hearts of the believers, so that they may increase faith upon their existing faith. To God belongs the forces of the heavens and earth. God is All-Knowing and All-Wise.4 — And so that He may admit the believing men and believing women into gardens beneath which rivers flow, to live forever therein, and so that He may cover their sins. That is, according to God, a great victory.5 — And so that He may punish the male and female hypocrites and polytheists, those that have an evil opinion of God. May they be surrounded by evil! God is angry with them, He has cursed them, and He has prepared Hell for them. Evil is it as a resting place.6 To God belongs the forces of the heavens and the earth. God is Almighty and All-Wise.7
Surely We sent you, Prophet, as a witness, a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner8 so that you all, humanity, may believe in God and His Messenger, honor him, respect him, and praise God in the morning and evening.9 Surely those who pledge allegiance to you, Prophet, are rather pledging allegiance to God. God’s Hand is over their hands. Whoever breaks that allegiance, he or she is in fact wronging their own self, but whoever fulfills what he or she has contracted with God, He will grant him or her a great reward.10
The bedouins who stayed behind will say to you, Prophet, “Our possessions and our families distracted us, so seek forgiveness for us.” They say with their tongues that which is not in their hearts. Say, Prophet, “Who has power to do anything for you if God intends harm for you, or if He intends benefit for you?” Rather, God is aware of what you all do.11 Rather, you all thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families. That was made attractive to your hearts and you made an evil assumption. You were thus a destroyed people.12 Whoever does not believe in God and His Messenger, then surely We have prepared an inferno for the disbelievers.13 The supreme authority of the heavens and earth belong to God. He forgives whom He wants and He punishes whom He wants. God is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful.14
Those who stayed behind will say, when you proceed to take the spoils of war, “Allow us to follow you.” They want to alter the speech of God. Say, Prophet, “You will never follow us. God has said such from before.” They will say, “Rather, you envy us.” Rather, they do not understand except a little.15 Say, Prophet, to those among the bedouins that stayed behind, “You will be called to a people that have extreme power. You will either fight them, or they will surrender. If you obey God, God will give you a beautiful reward. If you turn away, like how you turned away before, God will punish you painfully.”16
There is no blame on a blind person, nor on a lame person, nor on a sick person. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, He will enter him or her into gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whoever turns away, He will punish him or her painfully.17
Surely God is pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you, Prophet, under the tree. He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent tranquility down upon them. He rewarded them with a near victory18 and with abundant spoils of war which they will take. God is Almighty and All-Wise.19 God promised you abundant spoils of war, which you will take. He expedited the spoils for you, and He restrained the hands of the people from you so that you may be a sign for the believers. He will guide you all to a straight path.20 God also promised other victories which you did not have the capability to realize. Certainly God encompasses it [with knowledge]. God is capable of doing everything.21
If those who disbelieve fight you, then surely they will turn their backs. They will not find a guardian nor a helper.22 [This is] the way of God, which has passed from before. You will never find any change in the way of God.23 He is the One who restrained their hands from you and your hands from them in the middle of Mecca after He granted you victory over them. God sees what you do.24 They are the ones who disbelieved and turned you away from The Sacred Mosque, while the sacrificial animal was prevented from reaching its place.
If it were not for believing men and women [in Mecca], whom you did not recognize, you might tread over them, and harm would befall you without knowledge. [This was] so that God may admit into His mercy whomever He wills. If they were separate, then We would have surely punished the ones who disbelieved among them painfully.25 When the ones who disbelieved put zeal into their hearts, the zeal of ignorance, God sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and upon the believers, and He binded them to the word of God-consciousness. They were the most deserving of it and qualified for it. God is the most knowledgeable of everything.26
Certainly God was truthful to His Messenger regarding the dream. Surely you all will enter The Sacred Mosque, if God wills, safely, with your heads either shaved or shortened, and not frightened. He knew what you do not know. He made, in addition to this, a near victory.27 He is the One who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth in order to make it victorious over all other religions. God is sufficient as a witness.28
Muḥammad is the Messenger of God. Those who are with him are powerful against the disbelievers and merciful amongst themselves. You see them bowing, prostrating, and seeking bounty and pleasure from God. Their marks on their faces are from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. Their description in the Gospel is that of a plant — it produces its shoot, strengthens it, becomes thick, and then stands firmly on its stem. This delights the farmers, so that God may enrage, through them, the disbelievers. God has promised forgiveness and a great reward to those of them who believe and do good deeds.29